CCGs are collectible card games (aka trading card games or TCGs), such as Magic: the Gathering and Pokemon.


Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesFor a limited time, every print order direct from Goodman Games gets a free vintage copy of Dragon Magazine.

Renegade Game Studios is giving away Byzanz.

Blue Orange Games is giving away a package of Kingdomino and Queendomino. And Board Game Revolution is doing the same.

Use coupon code “rain18” to get Paizo’s Rainy Day Discount of 10% on a single order.

Through the end of the month, $600 of LPJ Design Pathfinder products are available in one 95% off bundle ($30) at DriveThruRPG.

For the relaunch of Button Men, arriving at retail this month, Cheapass Games is giving away multiple copies through an online quiz that matches participants with the game’s criminal masterminds.

Orders placed today from HasbroToyShop ship free with promo code “LOVE2018”.

Also today (ending midnight MST), save 30% on card sleeves from Mayday Games with discount code “chinesenewyear30”.

In recognition of February holidays, Skirmisher Publishing has bundled, at a 90% discount, RPG ebooks representing Valentine’s Day, Black History Month, Chinese New Year, and Presidents Day.

A Traveller: The New Era bundle is available at Bundle of Holding. Just $26 gets you everything.

Alone in the Jungle, Flying Pig Games’ solitaire expansion for ’65 Squad-Level Combat in Vietnam, is 30% off, direct from the company through today.

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Second Look—Munchkin CCG

Launching at retail next week is the Munchkin CCG from Steve Jackson Games. And to jump right away on your first question, no, it’s not just the Munchkin card game in new packaging. The CCG would be better described as Munchkin-inspired. The game features similar humor and artistic style and borrows many thematic elements. It’s still a parody of fantasy roleplaying. Levels and loot are part of the game. And traditional Munchkin-y things show up on various cards—ducks, chainsaws, and gazebos are just a few.

Gameplay, however, is quite different. It is a CCG, so the essential idea is to attack your opponent and reduce their hero’s life points to zero. The way cards work together, too, is an important part of the game. In fact, each player chooses a hero of a specific class (elf thief or dwarf cleric, for example) and the cards of their deck are all supposed to either belong to that class or be neutral. The cards of each class type, of course, build on a common theme. Cleric cards allow the player to resist damage or heal. Thief cards lean toward the Mischief type (special actions or attacks that can be played out of normal order).

All that is fine and good. But what makes the Munchkin CCG outstanding is how brilliantly it pairs serious game with silly humor and take-that attitude. To attack your opponent, you send out one monster at a time with the money to pay for it. The card you put forward, however, goes face-down and need not even be a monster, or maybe you paid too little, or too much. Your opponent then has a choice to make, whether to defend, or runaway, or simply stand and take the hit—all while trying to read your bluff. “Cheating,” as it’s called (attacking without a monster or the money to pay for it), is part of the game, and part of the strategy in getting past an opponent’s defenses.

Bluffing and cheating also makes the Munchkin CCG much more than just playing your cards against your opponent’s deck. You’re really playing your opponent.

At launch, the Munchkin CCG will be available in two-deck Starter Sets (Cleric/Thief, Wizard/Bard, Ranger/Warrior) for $20 and 12-card boosters for $4.

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Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesMongoose has a major Traveller sale under way at DriveThruRPG. Discounts are 33-80% off.

Gypsy Knights Games is also running a sale on Traveller material, to celebrate the company’s seventh birthday.

Another sale running at DriveThruRPG is the BAMFsies Sale, celebrating superhero titles.

Superheroes are also featured in Bundle of Holding’s Heroes Unlimited offer from Palladium Books, while another offer at the site features Ulisses Spiele’s English-language translation, The Dark Eye.

Victory Point Games is selling everything at 10% off (except for Darkest Night products) in celebration of Valentine’s Day.

Giveaways:

At Amazon, Starship Merchants from Toy Vault is 71% off and Bloodsuckers from Fireside Games is 59% off.

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Today marks 10 years since Yehuda Berlinger posted the first article on Purple Pawn, a brief story about board games mentioned in the Sally Forth comic strip. I hope in that time that you’ve felt informed and entertained. We’ve tried our best to make a positive contribution. With 8,370 articles published so far!

Purple Pawn presents a unique voice in the game field, covering all types of tabletop games—board games, card games, collectibles, roleplaying games, war games, miniatures, and more. Games with modern movie tie-ins and traditional games played by generations. Games for the dedicated hobbyist, as well as the casual gamer.

Of course we report news of product releases but we also work hard to document the business side of the game industry, provide tips to the game consumer, and highlight the significant role that games play in culture and society.

Purple Pawn would not exist if not for the vision and guidance of its founder, Yehuda Berlinger. Thank you, Yehuda, for letting me keep it going when you decided to move on to other game-related endeavors!

Thank you also to our various contributors over the years: Ben Clark, Thomas Deeny, K.C. Lee, Lory Gilpatric, Phil Kilcrease, Randy Snyder, Richard Bliss, Josh Street, Rob Kalajian, Sam Mercer, and Tracy Tang! In the early days it was Yehuda as the snarky commentator, Josh as the fanboy, and me as the straight-man. Ben provided an amazing inside look at the business side of games with the Paper Money podcast. Sam gave us some cool graphics. Rob—who, other than Yehuda and I, was with Purple Pawn the longest—was of tremendous support to me personally, did a wonderful job of covering the independent publishers, and also solved many technical problems behind the scenes. Thomas, who is still with Purple Pawn, has an amazing knack for identifying the hot trends and controversies.

And of course, thank you to our readers!

Retail Games

Major League Baseball player Hunter Pence and cohost of AMC’s Comic Book Men Ming Chen opened a coffee shop and board game venue in Houston this past week. Coral Sword also has a private booth for recording podcasts and gaming sessions.

Breakfast cereal and board games are the specialties of Tiny Rick’s in Liverpool, U.K. Along with board games, the restaurant serves cereals from around the world, mixes specialty cereal cocktails, and offers a variety of other breakfast foods, such as toast and Pop Tarts.

Eve’s Coffee Shop in Thiruvananthapuram, India is a board game cafe where the board games are free. Also featured at the shop is an extensive book library and adult coloring books.

After following his new wife to the U.K., Ryan, originally from Canada, decided to open the board game cafe he’d been dreaming about for years. His shop, Hexagon, is the first such venue in Taunton.

Ticket to Play is opening shortly in Salem, Oregon. Food will be served but with evening hours only, the space is primarily for playing games.

Undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, Toys “R” Us is shuttering 182 of its stores in the United States and another 25 stores in the United Kingdom.

BC Comix is consolidating three separate locations in to one larger retail space in Genoa Township, Michigan. The new space will also allow them to host bigger game events.

House of Cards is opening a second location in Cloverdale, British Columbia. The owners plan to hold Magic: The Gathering events every day in the new space.

The owners of Bonus Round Game Cafe, opening soon in the Lakeview area of Chicago, do not intend the space as a service to established gamers but rather as a place that’ll introduce the fun of board games to new people. Wi-fi will not be available.

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Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesCabot Creamery is running a board game recipe contest. Three winners will each receive two tickets to the BGG@Sea 2018 Alaska cruise.

The Dungeon Masters Guild New Year, New Campaign Sale means a 25% discount on all tier 1 (levels 1-4) Dungeons & Dragons adventures, as well as some rulebooks.

Parenting in Progress is giving away two games from Goliath, Greedy Granny and Jumping Jack.

For The Love To is also giving away a Goliath game, Doggie Doo.

Promo code “GAMES2018” is good for savings of 25% on games from HasbroToyShop but only until midnight ET tonight.

Plumpy Thimble is giving away Torres from IDW.

MyMBuzz is giving away three Magic: The Gathering Rivals of Ixalan Bundles (box, 80 lands, and 10 boosters each).

Board Game Revolution is giving away Valeria Card Kingdoms plus expansions and accessories from Daily Magic Games.

USAopoly is giving away three sets of promo cards for Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle.

Buy one, get one 30% off on HexBug Battle Ground toys.

Through February, Noble Knight Games is offering free domestic shipping on all orders over $149.

The latest at Bundle of Holding is Oone Blueprints, maps for RPGs.

Unfiltered Gamer is giving away something from Mayday Games.

Name Dropping is giving away Stranger Things games.

Sentient Cow Games is giving away some miniatures.

Rolling Solo is giving away UBOOT: The Board Game (pending Kickstarter funding and production).

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Pitch Your Game to Target

Game and toy inventors hoping to see their design on the shelves of a major retailer have a unique opportunity over the next month with Target. The company has launched what it’s calling the Target Open Innovation Project and is taking applications for direct meetings at New York Toy Fair in February.

We want early access to inventors and companies with fresh ideas and in exchange, will offer the opportunity to pitch your idea to a panel of Target Toy buyers and get feedback from experts in Mass Retail. We intend for these meetings to produce a meaningful pipeline of innovation for our Toy Assortment.

Initial applications are due January 17th and require information on the product’s target audience and how it differs from current products. Also asked is whether the inventor has performed any market studies, patent searches, or cost analysis.

Target is looking for products in the following categories: games, dolls, activity sets, pre-school toys, and imaginative play.

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Pathfinder enters the mobile CCG market with Pathfinder Duels, a new head-to-head battling game with simultaneous turns and cards decks built around the iconic characters of the Pathfinder RPG. Available now for Android and iOS.

Dire Wolf Digital has added a solo scenario for Clank! In Space! to its Renegade Game Studios Companion App (Android, iOS).

Hasbro has launched a game-show style version of Trivial Pursuit played with Amazon Echo Buttons.

Metro, Queen Games’ tile-laying title about Paris rail-lines, has arrived on iOS and Android, with AI opponents and online play.

The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game materialized recently on Steam. Evil Hat and developer Hidden Achievement say that mobile versions will follow on the 7th.

Asmodee Digital put out a new version of Carcassonne with a 3D look to Steam and Android.

There’s also a new version of Catan in the electronic game space. Catan Universe is available for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android and allows cross-platform play. Previous mobile versions of Catan have been renamed Catan Classic and owners of those versions are eligible to receive certain content in Catan Universe for free.

Set in the “Catan universe” but not the traditional board game, Catan Stories is a new scenario-based text adventure game from Asmodee Digital (Android and iOS).

APBA Go, the online version of APBA Baseball, has added solitaire play.

Referring to it as “everybody’s favourite board game,” Ubisoft announced the release of Hasbro’s Monopoly on Nintendo Switch. The game includes three themed boards (Classic City, Amusement Park, Haunted) and dice rolls that players can feel with the Switch’s HD Rumble.

Also now on Nintendo Switch from Ubisoft is the card game Uno, with themes derived from video games, Rabbids, Just Dance, and Rayman.

Kinkajoo, which already produces a Rummikub game app, now has out a free Rummikub score tracker and timer (Android and iOS).

Other cardboard-to-computer ports:

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Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesKolossal Games is giving away two copies of Legendary Buffy the Vampire Slayer from Upper Deck.

The Santa Clausthulhu Holiday Sale at Steve Jackson Games’ Warehouse 23 includes such deals as 75% off metal Ogre miniatures, 50% off Munchkin monster boxes, various bundle offers, and free gifts and double promos with every order.

For its holiday sale, Troll Lord Games has instituted a scaling discount that hits 40% at orders of $50.

HasbroToyShop also has a scaling discount, maxing out at $20 off orders of $100 or more. Use promo code “SMSM17”.

Fire Born Games is giving away 5 copies (print) of their A Forgotten Evil adventure for AD&D.

Steve Jackson Games’ 8 Day Holiday Giveaway runs for a few more days on the company’s Facebook page.

Buy two board games direct from Spin Master, get one free.

Save 10% on orders from Paizo with code “holiday18”.

Triple Ace Games has discounted most products 30%, both at the company’s website and at RPGnow. Prices good until the end of the year.

Solve Scorpion Masque’s puzzle to win one of two copies of Decrypto.

From One Small Step, Miracle on the Marne and 2WW: The War in Europe are 25% off and Battle for Baghdad is 50% off.

With Cubicle 7’s Call of Cthulhu license expiring January 1st, all titles from those lines are 25% off.

The Players’ Aid is giving away Enemy Coast Ahead: The Doolittle Raid from GMT.

Get a free WWII game with any purchase of $42 or more from Against the Odds. Make sure, though, to use coupon code “BALCK”.

DMily is giving away three sets of polyhedral dice.

Eileen Teo is giving away Concept from Repos (UK only).

Mummy of 2+1 is giving away four games (total value >£70) from Esdevium (UK only).

Krystyn is giving away Happy Salmon from North Star Games.

Like and comment on the CMON Expo Facebook page for a chance to win passes.

Save up to 85% with Miniature Market’s Holideals.

If you make a purchase from Dog Might Games now, your receipt will contain a promo code that can be used for 25% off in January.

The One Ring RPG from Cubicle 7 (based on The Lord of the Rings) is back on Bundle of Holding. The One Ring bundle from October 2015 has been revived and The One Ring +2 bundle added with the Adventurer’s Companion, Horse-Lords of Rohan, and more.

The winner of the Pressman Toy Holiday Giveaway will receive one copy each of Tri-Ominos, Rummikub, and Mastermind.

Until New Years, all terrain sets from Fat Dragon Games are 20-50% off.

With all games designed by Paul Koenig being discontinued by Victory Point Games, remaining stock has been marked down 20%.

Save 20% on purchases from Rebel Minis with coupon code “MERR17”.

Onyx Path Publishing has several Chronicles of Darkness bundles for $10 each (in the neighborhood of 80% off): The Descent of 2017, The Curse of 2017, 2017 is Forsaken, A Requiem for 2017, and A Chronicle of 2017.

At Toys “R” Us, the new Bop-It Maker from Hasbro is on-sale for 50%, Simon Optix is 40% off.

Spend $50 on gift cards from Top Shelf Gamer and get an extra $5.

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Retailing giant Target has an opening for a Merchandise Planner of Games and Trading Cards at its headquarters in Minneapolis. For Target, the position of Merchandise Planner serves as the interface between Merchandising and Supply Chain, is responsible for strategic thinking about sales, and involves a lot of detailed data analysis. But also…

In the Games and Trading Cards role, you will partner with the largest vendors in the Toy industry such as Hasbro and Mattel to drive sales on iconic board game brands and large franchises such as Pokémon. You’ll also have the opportunity to be entrepreneurial and help launch games from indie game designers from Kickstarter and other sources for new ideas.

Publisher All Things Equal needs a Marketing and Office Manager at its offices in Miami Beach. Responsibilities will include a mix of drafting marketing material and administrative functions. Some experience with Adobe Creative Suite applications would be helpful, as would being a fan of The Big Lebowski, for which the company is developing two new games in the coming year.

At Wizards of the Coast in Renton, Washington, two openings of note include Design Manager in R&D and Senior Content Designer. The former is a game development position for Magic: The Gathering that involves leading a team of designers. The latter involves building digital services and interactive content for Magic, D&D, and Avalon Hill games.

Don’t have the professional experience to qualify for one of these positions but still a fan of Magic? WOTC has launched the Great Designer Search 3 contest with essay questions, a multiple-choice test, and a series of game design challenges. The winner will be invited to a 6 month Magic: The Gathering design internship.

Goliath Games is recruiting for a Global Quality Assurance Manager and a Graphics Designer, both to be located in Plano, Texas. Applicants for the Global Quality Assurance Manager position should have at least 5 years of quality control experience, be familiar in detail with safety testing regulations, social compliance audits, and certifications, and be willing to travel 75 percent or more. Applicants for the Graphics Designer position should also have 5 or more years experience and be able to help with packaging, instruction manuals, game boards, display graphics, POP, and other assignments.

Games for Change is looking for a Communications Intern. The position is unpaid, can be in Boston or New York, starts in February, runs a minimum of 10 weeks, and will take 20-30 hours per week.

National Defense University, part of the U.S. Department of Defense, has an opening for a Wargaming Assistant in Washington, D.C. The role includes supporting the development and execution of national security exercises.

The UK’s Defense Science and Technology Laboratory has similar openings, one for a Tactical/Operational Wargamer and two for Wargame Designer & Analyst. The announcement of the former position lists “experience of developing scenarios and vignettes” as a qualification. The announcement of the latter lists “hobby wargaming”. For both, knowledge of military history and excellent quantitative analytical skills are required.

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